People

Lisa Poley recently joined CALS Global as Grants Specialist. Lisa brings fund-raising experience in the non-profit sector and earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in agricultural economics (VT and Purdue, respectively) and PhD in planning and governance from VT. Lisa will search for funding opportunities to enhance the global aspirations of CALS Global, CALS faculty, and Virginia Cooperative Extension. She will also help CALS faculty and teams of faculty through the proposal development process. Please reach out to Lisa (lpoley@vt.edu) if you’d like to know more.

Ben Grove has been promoted to Associate Director for CALS Global and VCE. Ben’s portfolio in CALS Global has grown to include leadership for study abroad growth strategies in CALS, serving as a mentor for the Global Opportunity Initiative, serving as CALS liaison to the Global Education Office, and supporting partnership and resource development for the GAP Initiative. Ben has led the expansion of international engagement opportunities for VCE, contributed to international projects, and facilitates executive and administrative leadership committees for VCE. 

Faculty News

Alan Earl, Ed Smith, and Vitor Mercadante with colleagues in Jaffa, Israel
Alan Ealy (green shirt), Ed Smith (gray shirt), and Vitor Mercadante (plaid shirt) with colleagues in Jaffa, Israel.

This summer, three APSC faculty—Alan Ealy, Vitor Mercadante, and Ed Smith—participated in the Faculty Fellowship Program in Israel, sponsored by the Jewish National Fund. Two weeks of touring and interactions acquainted participants with the science, landscape, and people of Israel. According to Alan, “I participated in the JNF Faculty Fellowship with the hope of identifying new research collaborators.  I found several on the trip…”. Vitor shared that “This is a truly transformative program and I will forever cherish the people I met and the moments I experienced in Israel.” Ed Smith found that “Israel is more normal than you think.” The JNF program accepts two faculty cohorts each year from all scholarly fields. Their website is http://www.ff2israel.org/

The GOI gang at the African Rift Valley in Kenya. L-R Ben Grove, Cassidy Rist, Monica Ponder, Vivica Kraak, Gill Eastwood, Gonzalo Ferreira, Tiffany Drape, Tom Thompson, Jamie Stewart.
The GOI team at the African Rift Valley in Kenya. L-R Ben Grove, Cassidy Rist, Monica Ponder, Vivica Kraak, Gill Eastwood, Gonzalo Ferreira, Tiffany Drape, Tom Thompson, Jamie Stewart.

The second Global Opportunity Initiative has been a rousing success so far! The team of CALS and VetMed faculty participated in capacity development activities during spring 2019, and traveled in Kenya and Rwanda for two weeks during June to work with our partners at Egerton University’s Center of Excellence for Sustainable Agriculture and Agribusiness Management (funded by the World Bank). Teams of faculty from Virginia Tech, Egerton, and the University of Rwanda identified key agriculture and health challenges, and mapped ways to work together to meet these challenges. The work continues as we search for funding to support our collaborations. 

Jamie Stewart, Cassidy Rist, and Ben Grove with butter sandwiches and African tea
Butter sandwiches and African Tea—delicious!